Kaffenback – talk me in to or out of it

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  • Kaffenback – talk me in to or out of it
  • Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I want a winter road bike, something that will take guards and can be a reliable long distance bike as well. I like the idea of disk brakes for this kind if bike and the Kaffenback seems to fit the bill.
    Any good reason not to go for it? Or indeed, any glowing reviews!

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    What is it?

    eulach
    Member

    I talked myself out of it, mainly because of the weight, but keep going back for another look on the website. Still undecided.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    I have the previous incarnation (with swap outs) and it’s brilliant. It’s my only “road” bike – it’s my daily commuting workhorse, I’ve done some light touring on it, long (100 miles) road rides and a bit of rought stuff too.

    Yeah, it’s a bit heavy but you don’t really want a light weight bike to load up with rack & panniers etc (IMO anyway).

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    I’ve got one as a winter road bike. It’s like a tank, in a good way. Ploughs over the pot-holed, broken tarmaced, mud laden things they call country roads round here.

    Full guards and discs on mine.

    konaboy2275
    Member

    Same as Woody, I have the swapout version. Built it up from parts from a Kona Dew Deluxe. Mine has hydraulic discs and flat bars and mostly Deore drivetrain. It’s not the lightest bike but it is very comfy and is tough as old boots. My commute involves mostly sustrans routes 18miles each way and has cobbled, farm tracks, canal towpaths etc and it’s handled it all with ease.

    Depends on what you want to use it for but as a tough, comfy and inconspicuous commuter it’s great.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Excellent, thanks for thoughts so far. How easy are the guards to fit with disk brakes?

    konaboy2275
    Member

    Quite straight forward on the rear, just bent the rods a bit to clear the rack as well. On the front I had to ‘bodge’ an extension bolt to clear the calliper but it hasn’t budged since. Think my guards are SKS one if that helps.

    rob jackson
    Member

    lunge – i have one and love it. try it out if you want?

    My mate was thinking about getting a Kaffenback, but the name put him off (to the cafe and back)

    Omar Little
    Member

    Ive hovered over the buy button a couple of times in the last month or so however i was put off a bit by a club mate getting one and having a few issues with the build. Maybe its just bad luck but that sort of stuff puts me off buying online.

    ibennion
    Member

    A good way of mounting the rear mudguard is to drill a hole in the mudguard to match the tapped hole at the bottom of the rear tube below the saddle. A 3/4″ tap washer can then be used with an allen bolt as a vibration absorbing mount.

    Mary Hinge
    Member

    I’ve got the swap-out version.

    Great for my back lane/bridleway/pot-holed farm track 25mile each way commute. Tough as old boots, not “steal me” flashy, nice to ride.

    Got rack and panniers, and mudguards and disc brakes. A bit of creative bending of the mudguard stays to go round the disc calipers was easy enough (NB fitting mudguards is a faff in it’s own right! Not just on the Kaff, on all bikes)

    I have 35mm Schwalbe Marathon (almost) puncture proof tyres fitted, it’s a bit tight on the rear so I had to cut the guard down a bit, it’s fine with 28mm tyres though, but I don’t hold back on my fully laden commute and the 28mm road tyres I tried weren’t tough enough. So if you want to use big tyres and guards a CX frame like the Uncle John might be better.

    It’s a bit weighty, but that is down to tyres and panniers etc, but has proved solid and reliable, and pleasant to ride. And a bargain really.

    plus one
    Member

    Yes good frames but as mentioned very very heavy !!!! Not an issue if touring but bloody hard work 🙁

    rob jackson
    Member

    they are heavy but just get fitter !

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    They’re only “heavy” compared to a light alloy bike TBH. For reference it’s a similar frame weight to the Spa cycles steel tourer but @ ~1/3 the price (for frame and fork). Horse for courses innit 🙂

    Premier Icon sheeps
    Subscriber

    I’ve got the swap-out frame (previous incarnation). As mentioned, not the lightest frame/ bike in the world, but makes a good commuting/ touring/ general dogs-body bike.

    Mines built up with an Alfine hub, dropped bars (bit of an filing edit with the swifter to make it fit on the wider road bars) Mini-V brakes, and the obligatory ‘don’t get a wet backside’ mudguards for commuting. 30mm slick tyres – could get a pair of 32mm in at a push without the mudguards.

    Couple of downsides – the arrangement of the rear stays (on the swap-out frame) and the disc mount mean that fixing my Burley trailer has required an new drop-out bracket rather than the frame fix one, and fixing a Blackburn rack (which is needed for a specific child-seat) requires a bit of the rack tube to be trimmed to fit – if you don’t have kids this will all mean nothing and/or be irrelevant!!

    If you want a reliable, stable commuter etc. just press the buy button!

    HTTP404
    Member

    Its listed as 2148g for the frame (size unknown).

    To put this into perspective – a medium sized Honky-Tonk is heavier at about 2250g.

    And the new Colnago Master frame is about 1800g.
    Which afaik is very similar weight to the Madison Genesis 953 team frame.

    How light it is – will depend on how you build it up.

    eulach
    Member

    Okay, so I’m convinced on the weight. 5-6km of gravel path puts my commute 80% car free (total 24km). What tyres? No, seriously what fits size wise with mudguards and tread/width wise for efficiency?

    Mary Hinge
    Member

    eulach – Member
    Okay, so I’m convinced on the weight. 5-6km of gravel path puts my commute 80% car free (total 24km). What tyres? No, seriously what fits size wise with mudguards and tread/width wise for efficiency?

    28mm will be fine with ‘guards.

    I cut the section near to the front mech out to use with my 35mm Marathons. I still have the full rear section which keeps the back spray down, but the front mech area gets hit on the muddy bits.

    If you don’t have a muddy commute then probably not a huge problem, but then you are probably not doing much poor surface stuff, so you wouldn’t need 35mm GreenGuard Marathons.

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan
    Subscriber

    ibennion, you’re a genius. Off to look in washers tin now 🙂

    APF

    mattsccm
    Member

    I am on my second. Both pre swap out versions. Currently running 37mm road tyres with mudguards. Used mostly as a gravel bike but taken it on some pretty rough stuff, touring and as a road bike.
    Thinking of another, new version, as a road bike with discs but still tempted by something much more pricey. Silly really.

    bokonon
    Member

    I’m looking at one of these as a potential do it all road bike – are the chainstays long enough for panniers? i’m concerned that I’m going to fit panniers then have to have them loaded right at the back of the bike just to get them away from clippiong my heels.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    bokonon – funny you should ask that. I’ve just fitted some Ortlieb back rollers, and didn’t really have time for proper set up – they were clipping my heels on the way to work today. It was fine with the smaller panniers I had on there before. A bit of adjustment should see them right though.

    Mary Hinge
    Member

    I use Ortleib Back Rollers. They do need setting back a bit, but it’s no problem. They are not at the limit of their adjustment for my size 10.5 feet.

    mattsccm – the older versions must have a bit more clearance than the swapout ones.

    I’m contemplating an Alfine rear hub (and a Revo Dynamo front!) for next winter, so would use sliding dropouts, which would give me room for a bigger tyre as it’s only tight at the front end and I could have the wheel set back a bit. Hmmmm?

    grum
    Member

    I love mine (or at least I loved the old non-disc version). One day I’ll get round to building the wheel for my new disc frame. 🙂

    HTTP404
    Member

    15% off today@PX
    code UKFR15

    tekp2
    Member

    My 2007 Kaff has done 1-2000 km a year for the past 5 years, and I still love it.

    @Mary Hinge – My wife has an Alfine, and it’s very heavy.
    @Bokonon – I use the Ortlieb lightweight ones with no trouble. My Kaff is a Large.
    @alexpalacefan – I used a bit of old inner tube to mount the rear mudguard, and stop it cracking around the drilled hole

    I’ll be upgrading to the new Kaff with disc brakes as soon as I get a new job.

    Bazz
    Member

    I also have one of the previous swapout versions that i use as my commuter and winter roadie, and whilst i’m thinking of moving over to an alloy cross frame instead i don’t think i’ll ever get rid of it as it’s just so versatile.

    It does ride nicely though even if the weight is noticeable, after a winter on it with a compact chain set when i get the carbon bike out with a standard on it i feel as if i’m flying!

    And to be honest at that price you can’t really go that far wrong.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Update, decision made, order placed. I can’t find anything I like more for even close to the money. It will be heavily “winterised” with SKS guards, lots if reflective bits and some thick tyres. It’s my guest new bike for 2 years and I’m really excited.

    Premier Icon iamtheresurrection
    Subscriber

    I like mine a lot too.

    It could have been a frustrating build as it comes without a bottom bracket cable guide, barrel adjusters for the threaded down tube cable stops or a seat tube clap/front mech mount. Luckily I had all of them spare in the parts bins but I wish they’d told me to order them on the site…

    Build quality seems pretty good though.

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)

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